Niklas Backstrom saved the game for the Wild Wednesday night against the Blackhawks. He replaced Josh Harding, who was pulled after allowing two quick goals in the first period -- and he held Chicago scoreless over the final 58:15 of regulation and overtime.
As good as Backstrom was the offense was equally as unproductive. Matt Cullen's first goal of the season came 90 seconds into the game, giving the home team a 1-0 lead. Five minutes later the Blackhawks were up 2-1.
In came Backstrom. Chicago wouldn't strike again. Minnesota would.
Trailing 2-1 Tom Gilbert's shot from the blue line was deflected by Cal Clutterbuck past Chicago goalie Cory Crawford.
Minnesota managed just four shots in the second period and two shots in the third period. Thanks to Backstrom the game went to a shootout, where the Wild won in three rounds, 2-1.
Zach Parise got the Wild off to a nice start in the shootout by making Crawford look silly, Jonathan Toews answered with a nifty goal for Chicago, Mikko Koivu and Patrick Kane then missed -- setting up the final round.
Cullen put a puck between Crawford's legs and Patrick Sharp sent a laser off the crossbar, giving Minnesota a shootout victory by a score of 3-2.
Backstrom finished with 28 saves.